Roku eases sign-in with Hulu, Sling TV, dresses up search results, bolsters voice
Roku software update 9.1 is rolling out to streamers starting today and Roku TVs in early summer.
David KatzmaierEditorial Director -- Personal Tech
David reviews TVs and leads the Personal Tech team at CNET, covering mobile, software, computing, streaming and home entertainment. We provide helpful, expert reviews, advice and videos on what gadget or service to buy and how to get the most out of it.
ExpertiseA 20-year CNET veteran, David has been reviewing TVs since the days of CRT, rear-projection and plasma. Prior to CNET he worked at Sound & Vision magazine and eTown.com. He is known to two people on Twitter as the Cormac McCarthy of consumer electronics.Credentials
Although still awaiting his Oscar for Best Picture Reviewer, David does hold certifications from the Imaging Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Standards and Technology on display calibration and evaluation.
Categorized search results: Currently, searching by categories such as "action movies" or "comedies" presents a text-based list of uncategorized results. After the update some category results will be presented with thumbnail art and broken down into sections like "new releases" and "free" (see above).
Watch this: Which Roku player should you buy?
Autoplay on Roku Channel voice search results: If you use voice to search for a show or movie that's available on the Roku Channel, the company's free-to-watch collection, it will automatically begin playing, as opposed to just displaying search results. So will shows and movies from the premium subscriptions inside the Roku Channel, such as HBO.
New voice commands: Roku's own voice system will support commands for "replay" (goes back a few seconds) and "turn closed captions on/off" (mistakenly enabled captions are a common issue). It will also add "turn display off" for Roku TVs, allowing the TV's screen to go dark while music keeps playing in apps such as Pandora, iHeartRadio and TuneIn.
Sign in-across Roku devices: With a handful of apps, including
, Sling TV and Pandora, signing into one Roku device will automatically sign you into all of the others associated with that Roku account. Roku says it has "nearly 10 subscription streaming services" on board and expects to add more soon.
My Offers: Roku will add a section to the home screen with discounts on Roku hardware and other offers. The company didn't specify whether that option could be hidden, like it allows with some similar sections like Featured Free and the Fandango Movie and TV stores.